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Professional

NFL: Packers face hobbled secondary in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI – The last time the Packers visited Cincinnati, the NFL got one of its most bizarre endings.

Brett Favre had Green Bay in range for a tying touchdown when he took the snap, retreated to pass and heard the play whistled dead. Just then, a 31-year-old fan in an orange shirt and black cap snatched the ball out of his right hand, raised his arms and ran the other way.

Security finally tackled him near the other end zone and led him away, but the 5-minute delay allowed the Bengals defense to regroup and hold on for a 21-14 victory in 2005.

“Yeah, I vaguely remember that,” said Packers coach Mike McCarthy, who was the 49ers’ offensive coordinator that year. “I’m sure I’ve heard Brett tell it, among his many stories.”

The Packers (1-1) finally come back to town on Sunday with a different quarterback and an offense that’s looking to have another big game against a defense that’s a little beat up at a bad time.

Aaron Rodgers threw for 480 yards and four touchdowns during a 38-20 win over Washington at Lambeau Field last Sunday. He joined Y.A. Tittle as the only ones in NFL history to throw for 480 yards and four touchdowns without an interception.

Rodgers completed 81 percent of his passes (34-for-42), a Packers record. Green Bay piled up 580 yards overall, second-most in team history.

So, how does Cincinnati’s depleted secondary stop him?

“It’s going to be tough,” cornerback Leon Hall said. “He has a lot of talent around him. They’ve been together for a while. You try to keep him contained, and you have to play great as a team together. The defensive line is going to have to have a great game along with the linebackers and the secondary.”

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